A Flurry of Applicants Ends Manager Search With 32

By Mike Lednovich

Five current or former city managers and a city administrator were among the 17 additional applicants for the Fernandina Beach City Manager position as the deadline ended on July 7.

Among the last group are two county administrators in Georgia. There are now a total of 32 candidates that have applied for the position.

Here are the applicants in the final batch:

Kathleen Gunn, City Manager, Tamarac, Florida December 2021- November 2022

Gunn officially took on the role of Tamarac city manager on December 8, 2021. She was appointed interim city manager on August 31, 2021, after the former City Manager Michael Cernech was arrested. She resigned on Nov. 8 at the end of her contract in order for the new city commission to select a city manager.

Before being hired as Tamarac assistant city manager in 2017, Gunn worked for the City of Miramar from 2014 to 2017 and Fort Lauderdale from 2004 to 2011 in the same role.

“I am a mindful, results-oriented, city manager with nearly two decades of success in crafting and executing policy in cities in Florida and New York. I am an engaged and enthusiastic leader, skilled in team building, organization development, and project management. As a servant leader, I excel at working collaboratively on complex projects with diverse groups to reach consensus, ensuring equity and inclusiveness in the process,” she wrote on her LinkedIn page.

Charles A. Montoya, City Manager City of Avondale, Avondale, Arizona June 2018 to Dec 2021

According to KTAR News, Montoya was hired in July 2018 and was terminated in December 2021 with cause over unspecified conduct. The West Valley View reported that Montoya violated the city charter by failing to reside in Avondale during part of his appointment as city manager and did not repay vehicle allowance funds. When inquiries were made about Montoya’s residency, he obfuscated, deflected and misled city staff and council members.

– City Manager, City of Watsonville, Watsonville, California Oct 2015 – June 2018

– Town Manager, Town of Florence, Florence, Arizona January 2013 – July 2015

“I pride myself on the ability to recognize conflict among individual and organizational agendas, and in being able to achieve consensus on issues where I have an interest in outcomes, but no authority to dictate them.

These skills have served me well in the public and private sector where success depends not only on technical competence, but also on the ability to remain apolitical while being politically astute,” Montoya said in his cover letter.

Douglas K. Maxeiner, East Moline, Illinois – City Administrator 2019 – Present

Chief Administrative Officer of an historic community of 21,374 (2020 Census) operating under the Mayor-Aldermanic form of government with a total budget of $46.1 million in FY 2023 and 170 FTEs. The City of East Moline is a full-service city including library, parks and recreation, police, fire, public works, and sanitary, water, and storm water utilities.

– Moline, Illinois – City Administrator 2017 – 2019

Chief Administrative Officer of a community of 43,977 (2010 Census) operating under a hybrid form of government (a mix of Mayor-Aldermanic and Council-Manager forms) with a total budget of $135 million in FY 2018 and 419 FTEs.

– Wauconda, Illinois – Village Administrator 2013-2017

– Hampshire, Illinois – Village Administrator 2011-2013

– City of McHenry, Illinois – City Administrator 2002–2010

– Assistant City Administrator (McHenry, IL) 1999–2002

– City of Rockford, Illinois – Central Services Manager 1996–1999

William Sturgeon, Senior Associate, Fitch & Associates, LLC · Sep 2022 – Present

City Manager, City of St. Cloud, Florida Oct 2017 – Sep 2022

According to the Osceola News-Gazette, he retired in 2022. Sturgeon became the city manager first on an interim basis, then full time, after predecessor Joe Helfenberger resigned the post in July 2017 after just 20 months on the job.

Prior to that, Sturgeon succeeded Bill Johnston as St. Cloud Fire Chief in August 2013 after just five months as a St. Cloud assistant chief. He came to the city after serving with Orange County Fire Rescue for nearly 25 years.

– Fire Chief, St Cloud Fire Rescue, Mar 2013 – Oct 2017

– Chief Officer, Orange County Fire Rescue, Orlando, Florida, Aug 1986 – Apr 2010

Christopher Dorsey, City Manager, City of East Ridge, Tenn., 2019 – November 2022

According to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press, East Ridge City Manager Chris Dorsey resigned Nov. 10, 2022.

The article said he previously served as city manager of Red Bank for six years and town manager of Signal Mountain for eight months before accepting the job in East Ridge.

He was terminated by a 3-2 vote of the five-person Red Bank City Commission in October 2011 for undisclosed reasons.

– City Administrator, City of Sparta, Sparta, Tennessee May 2015 – May 2019

– Interim City Manager, City of Millington, Millington, Tennessee Feb 2014 – Mar 2015

Mark Rooney, Village Administrator, Round Lake Beach, Illinois Sep 2021 – May 2023

He assumed full-time duty in Round Lake Beach on Oct. 4 but two years later left the city. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the city manager position in Prescott, Arizona.

In September 2021, Rooney resigned as Westerly town manager. He was sworn in as town manager in an interim capacity in May 2018 and given the job on a permanent basis a few months later in August. A retired U.S. Army Reserves lieutenant colonel, Rooney came to the town with more than 20 years of experience working in municipal government in four municipalities and villages in Illinois.

– Town Manager, Westerly, RI May 2018 – Sep 2021

– Village Manager, Carpentersville, Illinois Sep 2010 – Jan 2018

– Chief of Staff, North Chicago, Illinois (non-ICMA recognized position) Nov 2009 – Sep 2010

– Village Manager, Wheeling, Illinois Oct 2006 – Oct 2009

– Assistant Village Manager, Wheeling, Illinois Mar 2003 – Oct 2006

– City Administrator, Highwood, Illinois Feb 1996 – Mar 2003

David Molgaard, Chief of Staff and Firm Administrator, Bailey & Glasser, LLP Charleston, West Virginia February 2019 – February 2023

– City Manager, City of Charleston, West Virginia, June 2003- January 2019

Chief Appointed Administrative Officer serving the state’s capital city and largest municipality. Managed a General Fund Budget in excess of $100 Million with a workforce of 800.

– City Council Member June 1999 – June 2003

Councilman-Fifth Ward. Member Finance Committee; Rules and Ordinances Committee, City Employees Committee (Vice Chair); Parks and Recreation Committee; Healthcare Task Force; Blue Ribbon Task Force on Charleston Housing (Chair); Watt Powell Park and Alley Cats (Minor League Baseball) Committee.

– Financial Advisor, Charleston Sanitary Board, Nov 2004 – Dec 2018

Scott Davis, Town Manager, Town of Farmville, Farmville, Virginia 2020 – Present

– Interim Town Manager 2019-2020

– Assistant Town Manager, Town of Farmville, Farmville, Virginia 2017 – 2019

– Adjunct Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 2016 – 2017

– Director of Planning and Community Development, City of Colonial Heights, Colonial Heights, Virginia 2015 – 2017

Davis served as Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Colonial Heights. From 2009-2015. He served as Mayor of Colonial Heights after having served as Councilman for six years. He has held various positions at Richard Bland College of William and Mary, including Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations and Chief of Police.

Barry G. Brooks, Acting County Administrator for Dougherty County, Georgia

– Chief-of-Staff to the City Manager, Albany, Georgia April 2018 – June 2023

– Founder/Owner AMS, LLC Government Consulting Services, Tallahassee, Florida Feb 2018 – Apr 2018

– Records Officer, Martin County Board of Commissioners, Stuart, Florida, January 2017 – January 2018

Jason Rizner, County Administrator, Jones County, Georgia, 2016 – Present

Responsibilities include managing a staff of approximately 215 full-time employees with a General Fund budget of approximately $22 million and a capital improvement program of $50+ million.

– City Manager, City of Harlem, Georgia 2010-2016

– Assistant City Manager, City of Harlem, Georgia 2010-2010

– Attorney, The Rizner Law Firm, P.C., 2009-2010

William Schmeling, Executive Director, Township of Ocean Sewerage Authority, April 2008 – December 2023

The Township of Ocean Sewerage Authority (TOSA) provides wastewater treatment for the Township of Ocean, Monmouth County, New Jersey

– Qualified Purchasing Agent, Borough of Bradley Beach, January 2013 – December 2017

– Zoning Officer, Borough of Hightstown, February 2007 – June 2016

– Borough Administrator, Borough of Helmetta, March 2003 – July 2008

Dennis Weiner, Chief, Round Rock Independent School District Police Department, Round Rock, Texas July 2022 – Present

– Bureau Chief, Palm Beach Schools Police Department, Palm Beach, Florida 2018 – 2022

– Prior positions include Executive Director for Law Enforcement Exchange of Palm Beach and served as Chief of Police in cities in Florida and New York, including Coral Gables and Juno Beach in Florida, and Centre Island, Oyster Bay in New York.

Weiner is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He served as Commanding Officer, Deputy Security Director, Tactical Commander and Reaction Team Coordinator. He was also Deputy Camp Commander of a Joint Task Force for Guantanamo Bay in 2012.

John DeVaul, Fernandina Beach, formerly Chief Operating Officer, ANDx September 2020 – November 2022

Vice President Customer Service, AT&T, Dallas, Texas 25 yrs 6 mos

According to his LinkedIn page Devaul says “I transform customer experience by aligning people, processes, and technology. Throughout my career as a global call center executive, I have delivered results by optimizing both front-office and back-office performance – resulting in being promoted/selected for senior leadership roles 11x during my career with AT&T.”

Christopher Edwards, community redevelopment and economic development with the City of New Smyrna Beach.

John Field, Land Use Coordinator/Inspector Of Buildings & Zoning EnforcementOfficer, Town Of Weston, 2012-present

Scott L. Kimball, no current information provided.

“I have over 25 years of successful experience in the public and private sectors and a wealth of knowledge in several areas of government such as finance, management, economic development and redevelopment, police, fire, water and sewer systems, budgeting, strategic planning, emergency management, planning and zoning, inspections and permitting, and code enforcement. Providing customer service, having integrity, and building good personal relationships have always been a priority in my work experience and a core principal in my way of life,” he stated in his cover letter.

Ed Febles, Project Manager, Business Registration, North Carolina Secretary of State, Raleigh, North Carolina January 2019 – Present

– Special Projects Coordinator, NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, North Carolina August 2015 – December 2018

– Manager Of Outdoor Events, The Club Continental, Orange Park, Florida. April 2011- August 2015

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Betsie Huben
Famed Member
Betsie Huben(@betsie-huben)
11 months ago

Candidates who speak fluently on flooding, FEMA, sustainability and resiliency should rise to the top of the pile just as the water has been doing around our little island paradise.

Rich Polk
Rich Polk(@rich-polk)
11 months ago

I agree with Betsie. We need a candidate that understands our complicated barrier island. The mix of industry, residential &, tourism. Somebody that understands smart growth and our vulnerability to the threat of devastating floods & hurricanes.